* yes, there should be FIVE sets of boots but Allen ignored my advice to get adequate rain gear...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Perpetually April

Moving to Ireland has reminded me quite a bit of the year I got married.  I call it the year I got to have 3 springs.  I finished up my Master's degree in Nashville and graduated just as it was starting to turn into hot and muggy southern summer.  I then went back to my parent's home in Maryland for the remainder of May and got married in mid-June.  It was an outdoor wedding and I had hoped the weather would stay on the mild side.  It had been cool and cloudy the week before- so much so that I had begun to try to figure out where I could get a cardigan to co-ordinate with the wedding dress!  But, it was hot and muggy the day we got married.  Happily, the garden was lovely and the marriage is still going strong!  We honeymooned in Prince Edward Island.  I highly recommend it.  The food was marvelous; the scenery wonderful; the weather is perfect; and there isn't much for a newly married couple to do but wander about enjoying it all- exactly what you can manage after a stressful wedding!  I then moved in with my husband in Ithaca while he finished his PhD where the summers aren't much different from Ireland's.  I don't think I wore a pair of shorts that whole first summer.

Anyway, over the course of all that moving up the coast, I sort of followed spring the whole way.

Dublin, with all the rain, the highs around 17 (the mid 60s) and the lows around 10 (50), feels a lot like April to me.  

When I went to the hardware store to acquire plants for my windowbox and pots, I asked about what would do well here.  The short version is that all those plants that are a distaster in Virginia, thrive here.  The garden man was shocked when I told him that I considered geraniums to be a spring plant only and that they often had trouble growing in Virginia.  They are the old reliables here, popping up in just about every garden and window box and looking lovely for months.  

I have finally gotten what all the fuss is about roses and why those colonists worked so hard to bring over some roses.  Of course, they give us fits in the US climate with our fungi and pests but here, they are beyond lovely.

I have also decided that I must manage to put some cosmos and anemones into my garden in Blacksburg.  Look at these beauties!

We also pass this lovely plant on our way to Sandymount proper.  I have yet to figure out if it's a Rose of Sharon or a tree peony.  (Should tree peony be capitalized?)

Oddly, at least to my eyes, the mild winters allow exotics that would never make it through a winter in Blacksburg to flourish here.  It's not uncommon to see date palms getting ready to fruit as well as other types of palms.  Fuscia plants are commonly planted in the ground and grown as perennials here while being strictly seasonal, hanging basket plants in most of the US.

I suspect it would be difficult to have a black thumb in a country where flowers even grow on the roof!

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